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MAGENTO PWA STUDIO – WHAT IS IT AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Karolina Obszynska Dec 06. 2022

What is PWA and how quickly can it become a native application?-


How often do you download new applications to your phone? Do you ever shop online by means of these applications? Internet users usually shop or read the news using a specific website in a browser. This is a much faster and more convenient option than downloading and “clogging up” the memory of their phone with another application. Thus emerged the idea of implementing PWA. Ecommerce businesses are all the more frequently choosing solutions which imitate native applications in web applications, especially seeing that they convert web applications better than the native applications. What is Magento PWA Studio, and how does it work? We explain this below.

What is PWA?


PWA, or Progressive Web Application, is one of the directions in which modern web development is heading. This solution guarantees that your website will use the full potential of any device it will be viewed on. These include mainly mobile devices, on which PWA has definitely more possibilities, ones which the user would not experience on a website or desktop.

Progressive Web App is a web application which uses modern technologies and design patterns. This is a quick, secure, responsive solution, compatible with all browsers, as well as capable of working offline with adequate implementation.

How does it work?


It is simply a web application which, after the addition of supplementary elements, looks like a native application. Its key distinguishing features include:

  • responsiveness,

  • reliable performance regardless of the browser or device used,

  • possibility of offline use,

  • user interface fluidity.


 

In order to have access to all the functionalities provided by PWA, implemented should be Service Worker mechanisms which are activated by the script browser. This ensures a smooth performance of the site without interaction with the user – even after it is closed. With these mechanisms you can precisely define which resources should end up in the cache and what should be downloaded from a server. This enables:

  • faster page loading,

  • detailed data recording,

  • synchronization in the background.


A significant element of this technology is also the Web App Manifest which, other than the option of defining the application name and icon, enables it being added to the main screen of a device.

PWA, TWA, and native application – what is this about?


For native applications to be fully functional, they must be created in two versions – for both iOS and Android. Progressive Web Application, however, is a modern technology in which created are responsive websites, which perform perfectly in a mobile version. In the case of uncomplicated applications, PWA may prove to be a much better solution – being much cheaper to implement and install by the user. The application does not need to be searched for on Google Play or in the App Store – it is enough to open the website and to then save it on the main screen of the device in use.

Consequently, by choosing such a solution, you can become independent from stores with applications, but, what is important, you do not have to as PWA is compatible with a solution called TWA (Trusted Web Activity) - TWA “contains” sites such as PWA, through which these can easily appear on Google Play Store and App Store. What is more, an online store in a TWA packaging gives the possibility of sending PUSH notifications to iOS, by means of which we can inform Apple users about innovations, promotions, or discounts in our online store. This is significant because with the availability of reviews and comments on Google or in the App Store, a potential user can be sure that the application meets their needs. It is also particularly important in the case of online businesses, for which security and credibility play a key role, e.g., in the FinTech industry.

What is the Magento PWA Studio project?

Magento PWA Studio was introduced to the eCommerce market in 2018. It is a solution by means of which you can implement your own store on PWA based on Magento 2.3 or newer versions. Magento PWA Studio uses modern technology libraries to create frameworks in accordance with the rule of Magento expandability.

Advantages of Magento PWA Studio



  1. Efficient and light application



  • Better cache mechanisms

  • The browser does not download the entire site template, but only the necessary elements.

  • No need for uploading all the scripts.



  1. Use of GrahpQL



  • New fields and types may be added without affecting the compatibility with existing messages, without the necessity of versioning.

  • Allows to create flexible searches, returning only the required data.

  • Is able to return a few different pieces of information from varied sources with the use of one message.

  • The use of Apollo GraphQL for communication enables search caching on the browser.


 

  1. Better user experience – faster performance of the application by only downloading the necessary elements instead of the entire website.

  2.  Server-site Rendering (SSR) involves the previous rendering of a website for robots, so that they do not have a problem with reading every site.

  3.  Option of working offline.

  4.  Updates do not require back end modification every time, thereby, just the front can be modified independently.

  5.  Security – uses verified solutions from Adobe.

  6. Technological stack easy to maintain in the future.

  7. Strong PWA community.

  8. PWA is multi-platform and enables the creation of one application for varied browsers, as well as, through the support of TWA, for varied devices.


 


Faults of Magento PWA Studio:



  1. API GraphQL does not yet cover all Magento functionalities, thereby the lacking endpoints must be made up.

  2. Not all modules allow their complete utilization – if the module is supported in the backend by GraphQL then necessary is the additional creation of the frontend.


 

A store mobile application without a mobile application? It is possible.


The best proof for the performance of a PWA application is the cooperation between Fast White Cat and Kontigo. Our Partner needed to streamline the performance of their online store on mobile devices. The challenge was to satisfy the expectations of Kontigo and to create a mobile application… without the creation of a mobile application.

Instead of again creating a mobile application, Kontigo took our recommendation into account and decided to trust the Fast White Cat team in regard to the new, innovative approach to applications - Progressive Web Application, or PWA. See how in Fast White Cat we created a faster and cheaper alternative to the classic mobile application with the aid of PWA, defeating technology.

Do you intend to implement PWA solutions in your online business? Contact us - info@fastwhitecat.com

 

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